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Seagate FreeAgent Pro External Hard Drive has failed

Posted on 2011-10-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a Seagate FreeAgent Pro External Hard Drive that has failed.  When it is plugged in it beeps and the light flashes on the top.  As is probably typical, I don't have a back up of this drive so it is imperative that I recover it.  I have taken the drive apart and notice that there is some sort of connector on the front of the drive that obviously is not in use as the two connectors on the back plug into the light and into the port on the back of the case.

What software if any could help me recover this drive as I don't want to necessarily spend the money to have it professionally recovered?  What solutions for recovering the data exist if there is some sort of hardware failure and is it possible to do it oneself?
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Question by:mounty95
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Expert Comment

by:JeremySBrown
ID: 36903741
It's possible that the hard drive itself is fine it's the enclosure (circuit-board) has failed.

Once thing you can do is take the hard drive and connect it directly into the PC and see if it Windows recognizes the drive.

Doing this will most likely void the warranty with Seagate.
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by:MattyW
ID: 36903902
A good cheap recovery software is Getdataback by runtime software. You will need to know if the drive was formatted in Fat32 or NTFS because they sell it by file system type. Pull the drive from its housing like Jeremy said. Once connected to another computer it very well may be accessible. If not go to disc manager (right click my computer icon and go to manage) and see if the drive is mounted. If it is mounted it should tell you what file system the partition is as long as it didn't lose the partition. Getbackdata can recover your partition if lost as long as the drive mounts, If it fails mounting the drive you may need to pay the big bucks for a data recovery professional.
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Author Comment

by:mounty95
ID: 36903942
So I have removed the hard drive from the housing.  I borrowed a hard drive docking station from a joint agency's IT department and plugged the drive into the docking station.  It is making the same faint beeping noise.  So the question is what does that beeping indicate:  board failure, motor failure, platter failure, or head failure.  It was suggested that I purchase a board off of Ebay to replace, but I don't want to spend money on the board if it is a bigger issue?  Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:JeremySBrown
ID: 36904081
Is the noise coming from the hard drive itself or from the docking station? If the noise is coming from the hard drive it's indicating that the drive is failing or has already failed and should be replaced immediately.
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by:MattyW
ID: 36904119
what does it say in disk management? Drive not mounted?
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Author Comment

by:mounty95
ID: 36904372
The noise is coming from the hard drive itself.   Now I can see it under disk management but it says Not Initialized and now the beeping has stopped and it makes a clicking noise a couple of times and then stops.
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Author Comment

by:mounty95
ID: 36904380
If I try plugging in directly then it isn't recognized, but if I plug it into the docking station then it at least gets recognized, but I can not proceed.
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Assisted Solution

by:JeremySBrown
JeremySBrown earned 664 total points
ID: 36904431
The hard drive has failed or is very very close to. I would recommend replacing the drive as soon as possible. No hard drive should be making a "clicking" noise.
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nobus earned 668 total points
ID: 36908345
if you need the data - you'll need a recovery service  to recover it ; here some "cheaper" ones :
http://www.lowcostrecovery.com/index.html                        data recovery Company
http://www.gillware.com/                                 "           "                   "
http://www.drivesavers.com/services/estimates.html                     "           "                   "
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Assisted Solution

by:paulc
paulc earned 668 total points
ID: 36909193
I worked for a drive refurbishment company once and the vast majority of drive failures were the circuit boards.  If you are sure that beeping isn't a clicking noise then replacing the board might get the drive back.  If you have a mechanical failure your only choice is to send the drive out for recovery.  Seagate is probably the best choice in that instance.
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